But investors weren’t immediately enthused about AppLovin, which is trading under the ticker symbol “APP.” After listing at $80 per share, the midpoint of its estimated range, the stock closed down 18% at about $65, putting its market capitalization around $23 billion.
Founder and CEO Adam Foroughi told CNN Business he’s focused more on the company’s future than the present-day stock moves.
“What we were trying to do is partner up with investors who see the three- to five-year plan,” Foroughi said. “Every stock goes up and down. We can’t control the short term, but we can certainly control that long-term outcome and that’s what we work really hard to do.”
In 2020, AppLovin generated $1.45 billion in revenue, a 46% increase from the prior year, but reported a nearly $126 million net loss. It had reported a $119 million profit in 2019.
AppLovin estimates that the mobile app ecosystem will grow to $283 billion by 2024, up from $189 billion last year.
While demand for console games was boosted during the pandemic, AppLovin said its games, which are more casual and played on mobile devices, experienced little impact.
AppLovin’s game portfolio reaches 200 monthly active users, and the audience data from that activity helps inform its developer software platform.
It’s “similar to the way Netflix has evolved their business: They … show us content based on our past viewership patterns, and then they started investing in original content, which exploded the popularity of their platform,” Foroughi said. “Our own apps give us very powerful audience insights … that feed back into our recommendation software and increase the efficacy of the platform.”
With the IPO funds, the company plans to invest in creating more original content, Foroughi said. It will also use some of the proceeds to make acquisitions, according to its S-1 filing.
Since 2018, the company has invested $1 billion in 15 acquisitions and partnerships to grow its content library and software capabilities, the filing said. Most recently, AppLovin announced in February it would buy mobile app measurement and marketing firm Adjust.